Vintage circus posters picture kangaroos and women trapped in ice

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1910

“Circus Corty-Althoff — The Banola Family. Known as the greatest gymnasts in the world. The flying family.”

Image: The Circus Museum via Europeana

Everything now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.
Juvenal (circa A.D. 100)

1916

“Circus Busch. Saxon, the strongest Man in the World.”

Image: The Circus Museum via Europeana

The circus, as it we think of it today, originated in Britain in 1768 by inventor Philip Astley. Astley presented shows that included horse riding tricks, acrobats, music and clowns. None of these elements were new to the British public, but Astley was the first to combine them into a single show.
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